Tara Wood’s new documentary “QT8: The First Eight” looks back at Quentin Tarantino’s legendary career through the eyes of his collaborators. The movie debuted in theaters October 21 ahead of its on demand launch December 4 and includes at least one notable revelation from Tarantino’s executive producer Stacey Sher, who first collaborated with the director on “Pulp Fiction” and also worked with him on “Django Unchained” and “The Hateful Eight.” Sher reveals Tarantino based Kurt Russell’s brutally misogynistic “Hateful Eight” character John “The Hangman” Ruth on Harvey Weinstein, adding “If you read it on the page it was a little more accurate. Kurt is the most charming person on the planet.”
“The Hateful Eight” was released in December 2015 under The Weinstein Company, nearly two years before the wave of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein went public. While the movie would be the last Tarantino film produced and distributed by Weinstein, it was made with the full backing of Harvey and TWC. Clearly the film mogul was unaware his behavior had inspired the despicable John Ruth character. Tarantino wrote John Ruth as a bounty hunter who brutalizes his prisoner, the female outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Tarantino wrote the script for “The Hateful Eight” circa 2013-2014, and he was aware at that time of Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual harassment and abuse. Following the initial reports about Weinstein in October 2017, Tarantino came forward in an interview with The New York Times to admit he was aware of Weinstein’s behavior. Tarantino said his former girlfriend Mira Sorvino had told him Weinstein had touched her and made unwanted advances on her. The director added he was aware Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer. McGowan has accused Weinstein of raping her.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino said. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Tarantino added, “What I did was marginalize the incidents. Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse…I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. As if that’s ok. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
The allegations against Weinstein collapsed The Weinstein Company, which had produced and distributed every Tarantino movie starting with “Death Proof.” Weinstein distributed Tarantino’s previous movies through Miramax starting with the director’s feature debut “Reservoir Dogs.” Tarantino joined a major Hollywood studio for the first time when Sony announced it would be making “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which opened in theaters this summer.